13:23 blogging is a definite addiction for me. I remember a new writing friend telling me, just over a year ago, try this, “it’s addictive, I can’t explain it.”
I could not understand… how on earth? I had barely begun to hit publish on a few things here and there, and it was agonizing. the perfectionist in me battled the desire to be part of the world at large.
then I did that daily-publish exercise, and afterwards, nothing was the same… I found I couldn’t break the habit.
there are pros and cons to blogging, but the main thing I crave is connection. I realized this when I analyzed my reason for lighting up the odd smoke, some years ago… I would crave connection, with myself, with the world; I would try to inhale it through the tar and nicotine: the subconscious promise that was sold within the pristine white papers. then, or around the same time, I accepted, within the nest of “everyone is doing it,” the hot fire of alcohol, the warmth, the falling freedoms.
now, I have it for blogging…
when I was at the mindfulness camp, I had little time nor even desire to write. I felt it as a guilty attachment I must shed. I learned to suffer instead. suffer with whatever small ache was driving me mad: the monk who disapproved of me, the admin volunteer who would not print the schedules for us parents, the stoned girl in the dharma group talking about the blue hair of the moon one minute and swearing about being surrounded by idiots the next. the children’s group lady who tried to tell me how to parent, knowing nothing whatsoever about me and my relationship with my own children.
the tattooed, fevered man who could never sit still, hovering around my two new mommy friends and me, thinking we needed mediation over our battling boys, his own boy, soccer-clad, ignored; when in fact we were emotionally hugging it out together, tears of happiness and sadness on our cheeks. later we wordlessly, unanimously accepted him as one of us. we transformed our suffering, in this quiet place, within the sound of that deep bell.
the baby crying in the meditation hall, while the children were in children’s group, during the only half hour of peace some of us other mothers might otherwise have experienced. the mother of the baby gently arguing to anyone who’d listen, “think of it like the sound of a bird…”
I learned to sit with the suffering. I am not a good sitter; I myself am more like a bird, hopping about, here and there, branch to branch, sometimes to sing upwards without care, sometimes to peck at the dirt, sometimes to hover and scold. all of that grew old as time, metered and belled, fell away.
people were being and being. and very human it was. it was a camp of misfits, but we were united in purpose. and in confusion.
I learned to lean into my aches and pains, my boredoms and irritations, my stress and my angers and my hurt feelings. I learned to look away from Brother-Hates-My-Guts, when I could not find compassion for him, understanding only with the soles of my own feet on the gravel that he himself was only on the path, not yet arrived.
I learned to listen to my Sister, my sister in her brown habit, like she was a Mother, the mother of me; to absorb her quiet and willful lack of panache, her wisdom in the dharma talks and later be stunned when she picked up a violin. we were the same age; we could have been twins, though not in looks nor wisdom; perhaps only in intent, and in longing.
where she had abstained in life, I had leaned in fully. where she had seen an expanse of blue and wanted only that others could learn to enjoy it, then dedicated her life to that task, I’d demanded to soar in that blue sky, hatch eggs under it, relish it and populate it with birds of my brood.
my mother, my sister, my friend, brown as a sparrow and as common in appearance, just as she had designed herself to be; but far more chaste and solid; uncommon in her quietude, her dedication to work and habit, her finding of freedom not outward but inward.